Elizabeth Olsen and Benedict Cumberbatch on SAT.1 Frühstücksfernsehen breakfast show TV in Berlin, Germany on April 21, 2022. Promoting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
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VULTURE: Everyone is obsessed with WandaVision, including, apparently, Jimmy Fallon. He’s so obsessed that he even imagined himself inside the TV show about a grieving Marvel superhero who imagines herself inside other TV shows. Kids, feel free to use this sentence in English class when your teacher asks you to explain what “meta” means.
In a new sketch called “FallonVision,” debuting right here on Vulture ahead of its broadcast on Fallon’s late-night show tonight, the host hops through time and several iterations of The Tonight Show. Elizabeth Olsen, the star of WandaVision and a guest on The Tonight Show this evening, is present throughout the whole journey in the role of the actress-guest who always behaves decade-appropriately. “Water?” she quips in the 1950s, before taking a sip and adding, “Well, that’s an odd way to pronounce ‘rum punch.’” In the ’70s, she smokes a cigarette (not necessarily of the nicotine variety) on live TV.
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Just like on the Disney+ series, it eventually becomes clear that Fallon is beaming himself through classic television as a way to escape his grief about what’s happening in real life in 2021. There’s also a twist at the end that suggests another WandaVision character may be the one responsible for all this. [Wink.]
Director Chris Tartaro, who has filmed and edited many prerecorded sketches for Fallon during his tenures on both Late Night and The Tonight Show, jumped on the phone less than an hour after capturing the sketch’s last shot to explain how it all came together. Watch the sketch first, because spoilers are below.
After the idea was conceived and fine-tuned by Fallon and his writers’ room, the first step was to confirm that Olsen, already booked as a Wednesday guest, was game to participate in the homage. She was, though she had to improvise a bit when wigs and other props couldn’t be shipped to her quickly enough. (Olsen is currently in London shooting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.) “She took her Sunday to do this with her team, and they didn’t have costumes, and they just used what they had,” Tartaro says. (Feel free to closely examine every item Olsen wears in the sketch for possible clues about the Doctor Strange movie.)
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Elizabeth Olsen also confirmed filming on the Doctor Strange sequel has been delayed.
WandaVision, the first TV series in this new Phase Four era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sees Wanda Maximoff (Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) living out their suburban dreams, but something is off. Their reality seems like it’s straight out of a television show — multiple shows, in fact — and it’s constantly shifting.
According to Olsen, the episodes of WandaVision start in the style of 1950s television like The Dick Van Dyke Show and progress to each decade of sitcoms. The clip shared on Kimmel shows off the ’60s era, a la Bewitched, when Wanda responds to a noise in the night. “We tried to film each episode as authentically as we could to each decade,” Olsen said, noting how the show filmed in front of a live studio audience for the earlier episodes and used “practical special effects on strings.”
WandaVision will lead directly into the events of the movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Olsen is currently in London for production on the film, but she confirmed to Kimmel that filming had to take a hiatus due to the most recent lockdown in the U.K. “Since the hospitals are overwhelmed here we can’t go back to work until that calms down,” the actress said. “So, just safely hanging out here and really grateful that I get to be working.”
WandaVision premieres on Disney+ this Jan. 15.
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